Pests

  • After more than 200 years, South Georgia is rodent-free. The focus of the world's largest rodent eradication project, the almost uninhabited South Atlantic island has officially been declared free of all rats and mice by Scottish-based charity the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT).
  • Neonicotinoids are bad news for bees and we've known it for a while. But the situation regarding bee populations and the world's most widely used pesticide has now become so dire that the EU has placed a complete ban on their outdoor use, and it's expected to take effect by the end of the year.
  • Scientists have found that two of the world’s most damaging pests have hybridized, creating a dangerous mega-pest with pesticide-resistant genes. The new hybrid has only been identified in Brazil but the researchers warn that its spread across the globe could be devastating.
  • Science
    Scientists from the University of Helsinki and CNRS are working on new ways to produce RNA-based vaccines that target specific pests without damaging the host plants or relying on potentially toxic pesticides to protect food crops.
  • Pesticides generally take something of a shotgun approach to eliminating critters, but the problem is not all of them are bad news. Scientists have now discovered a way the recipe of these substances might be refined to better target the bad guys while leaving bees alone.
  • In a conventional arms race, amassing the most advanced weaponry is one way to stay ahead. However in the ongoing evolutionary battle between host cells and viruses, scientists in Spain have found that to advance, we might have to go all the way to the early beginnings of life.
  • ​Plastic bags are a bane of modern life. People around the world use a trillion of them every year, and while scientists have been trying all sorts of ways to tackle the plastic waste problem, nature might have a simpler solution: a common pest known as the wax worm.​
  • They’ve been around for the past 300 million years​, outlasting the dinosaurs and outsmarting our attempts to get rid of them​. Now, Japanese researchers have revealed yet another reason why we have been unable to put a dent in their populations: female solidarity.​​
  • Rats can breed like crazy, so New York City and SenesTech are working to put a stop to that, with a birth control substance called ContraPest that renders both males and females infertile. The method is said to be humane, environmentally friendly and pose no risk to humans, pets and other animals.
  • ​​If you've spent much time around the Great Lakes, then you're probably familiar with the sea lamprey. It's a destructive invasive species, which depletes stocks of native fish by feeding on their blood. Thanks to recent research, however, there may be new hope for controlling lamprey populations.​
  • ​Everybody loves a nice garden, and the holidays are the perfect time to get onto that outdoor project you’ve been putting off. We’ve rounded up some of the best gardening gear for seasoned green thumbs, or those just starting to dabble in the dirt.
  • ​While most of us may just associate mistletoe with Christmas parties, the fact is that the parasitic plant can be a nuisance in the wild. That's why scientists are taking the offensive, with a system that shoots herbicide up into trees' high branches.​